Senior Scientist, Actinomycete Molecular Genetics

Odyssey Newcastle is part of a rapidly expanding global biopharmaceutical company located in the “Biosphere” building on the new, city centre “Newcastle Helix” site. The company will be using microbial natural products as a source of new therapeutics across various high value targets in the oncology and immunology disease areas, and is seeking to make multiple new appointments across microbiology, molecular genetics and drug discovery. You will be joining a top-flight, multi-disciplinary team driven to discover new therapeutics and progress them to the clinic and onto the market.

THE POSITION: Senior Scientist, Actinomycete Molecular Genetics

General Role:
In your role, you will work with the Genetic Chemistry team to develop and implement molecular genetic methods for isolation, expression and manipulation of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) encoding the enzymes needed for natural product synthesis. This important role will support the company’s endeavours to establish a world-leading position in modern natural product discovery and drug development. It will require a strong background in modern molecular genetic methods, especially host vector systems, as applied to actinomycetes, such as Streptomyces. Successful candidates will have the motivation and creativity to develop novel solutions to technical obstacles and creating efficiently functioning high throughput processes. This is an opportunity to join a rapidly expanding business and contribute to building a team that will operate at a top international level.

• Contribute to the development and optimization of protocols for cloning and expression of high molecular weight DNA in actinomycete “superhost” strains
• Collaborate and develop joint protocols with colleagues specialist in general molecular genetic methods
• Execute high throughput transfer of plasmids from primary cloning hosts to superhost strains
• Develop and implement downstream clone handling and data management systems
• Implement and execute synthetic biology processes for manipulation of complex BGCs
• Work closely with the Team Lead in planning and execution of key company goals, including outsourcing to CROs, where necessary / appropriate
• Maintain detailed records of experiments in the form of electronic lab notebook (eLN) and study reports.
• Present experimental designs, protocols, results and interpretations in group meetings, project team meetings and wider company meetings in PowerPoint format.

Basic Qualifications:
• MS 5+ years or Ph.D. 0-2 years in molecular biology, biotechnology, or related field.
• Proven track record to show advanced proficiency in actinomycete molecular genetic methods (e.g. low and high copy number plasmids, phiC31 integration, conditional promoters, CRISPR mutagenesis, in frame gene deletions, site directed mutagenesis, complex construct modification, primer design)
• Understanding and experience of gene transfer methods such as electroporation, transformation, conjugation.
• Ability to design and develop new assay methods, rigorously analyze & interpret data, and to move projects efficiently forward
• Identify challenges and seek input from colleagues and Manager for solutions to diverse problems, and demonstrate motivation in pursuing scientific answers through experimental planning
• Able to work under minimal supervision, manage multiple projects, be team-oriented and collaborative
• Understanding and working knowledge of key scientific software programs
• Manage and mentor research associates
• Excellent communication skills

Preferred Qualifications:
• Experience of working with multiple actinomycete host-vector systems
• Working experience of E. coli or Bacillus subtilis molecular genetics
• Knowledge of bacterial natural products
• Knowledge of next-gen sequencing and data analysis

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, colour, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or on the basis of disability.

We reserve the right to close this vacancy early if a suitable candidate is found.

Odyssey Newcastle, The Biosphere, Draymans Way, Newcastle Helix, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5BX.

Application Instructions: 

Potential candidates are invited to send a CV and covering email to Odyssey Newcastle at the following address:

Mrs Claire Ellis

Application Closing Date: 
15 October